Ryan Sullivan: Working with transfer students and their unique needs

Dec 23, 2013

I’m Ryan Sullivan, an admissions counselor at Florida Poly working exclusively with transfer students to answer their questions and address their unique needs.

I want our transfer students to know that our generous scholarship program is available to all students, both freshmen and transfers. This can be a game changer for transfer students, because the scholarship program may enable students to finish their degrees without paying for anything out of pocket.

Let me tell you about my typical week and also the questions I often field from students.

As the only admissions counselor handling student transfers, I cover the entire state of Florida. I regularly meet with professors and admissions staff at the other universities, in addition to prospective Florida Poly students.

I spend two days each week at Polk State College, our satellite office, to meet with students. When I am not at Polk State, I typically am on the road, visiting other universities, or I am giving tours of the Florida Poly campus under construction.

When I visit other Florida universities, I often participate in transfer tours, where I have the opportunity to give prospective transfer students information about life at Florida Poly. I also meet with admissions staff to provide information about Florida Poly, which can be passed along to potential transfer students. I meet with any interested professors and share information with them, too.

Transfer students have unique challenges compared to students still in high school and considering college choices. Prospective transfer students often want to know how their existing credits may be applied at Florida Poly and what they need to do to complete their degree program at our University.

Transfer students often have questions about scholarships and their eligibility to receive them.

My role is to help guide them through this early process of decision-making and making applications. The best advice I offer to prospective transfer students is to send in their transfer documents as early as possible. We have a limited number of seats for the inaugural class, so the sooner they apply, the better.

I hope our new students will form meaningful employer connections while at Florida Poly, and we have a great team focused on exactly that. Our University’s curriculum is being developed around prospective employers’ needs, allowing us to create an environment that will benefit our students right away. That’s not something any other university can offer; it’s one of the things that makes Florida Poly unique.